A group of villains published by Marvel Comics
and created by Steve Gerber
. The Headmen first appeared in Defenders #21
The saying goes that "birds of a feather flock together" and the truth of this statement is evident when looking at the things that bond people together. Organizations spring up based upon race, gender, sexual preference, political officiation, even a love of Hummel figurines, so it should be of little wonder that a super-villain group would spring up, solely based on people with weird heads. The Headmen were the creation of Steve Gerber, the author who gave us Howard the Duck, so it should be little wonder that the Headmen are not your ordinary group of villains.
The Headman are lead by the villain Gorilla-Man, who is in fact the famous transplant surgeon Arthur Nagan. Nagan had perfected a technique that would allow of the transplant of organs from gorillas into human hosts. This amazing feat was hailed as being a miracle of science, what with the overcoming of vastly different genetic structures, physical inconsistencies, and the irritating tendency of the recipients of walking on their knuckles and occasionally trying to track down Fay Wray for a whirlwind siteseeing tour from atop the Empire State Building. Unfortunately for Nagan though, there was one group who did not take to the transplants very well: gorillas, who seem to be much better organized that one would imagine. On a visit to Africa, Nagan was captured by a band of gorillas and, in a truly bizarre twist of fate, had his head transplanted on to a gorilla body by said gorillas. This explains why Nagan now appears as a middle age man's head atop a gorilla body and his not so imaginative code name of Gorilla-Man.
Nagan decided that he would gather others in a bid for amassing personal power, so he found three other members for his team. First was Jerry Morgan, a research scientist who sought to improve upon the work of Dr. Henry Pym (Ant Man) and his shrinking gas. Morgan unfortunately decided to try his new variation on himself and ended up shrinking only part of himself, in this case his skeleton, but not his soft tissues. The result is that Morgan appears like a human Basset hound and has taken the name Shrunken Bones. Next was a scientist named Thursday Rubenstein, who had serious issues. Rubenstein created an artificial plastic which she referred to as an "organic computer" that could reshape itself to the thoughts of a user. Rubenstein replaced her head with this giving her head the appearance of a small red ball and giving rise to a great deal of speculation of where her brain is. Calling herself Ruby Thursday, Rubenstein joined the Headmen in an effort to gain enough power to begin replacing all people's heads with organic computers. The final member was a minor sorcerer known as Chondu the Mystic, but not for long.
The Headmen's first mission was to replace the brain of millionaire Kyle Richmond (Nighthawk) with that of Chondu. They captured and the surgery was a success, but as Richmond was a member of the hero team the Defenders, the Headmen were opposed by Richmond's teammates. Richmond's brain was successfully replaced by his teammate the Red Guardian and Chondu was placed in the body of a deer fawn by Doctor Strange. Realizing that this was not going to do, the Headmen escaped jail and sought a new body for Chondu, something that they would spend a lot of time doing from then on. Their first attempt involved creating a body of Chondu, but unfortunately, their idea of a good body for their teammate and his were greatly different. Chondu awoke to find himself in a body that was a bizarre amalgam of different beasts. His head was his original head, but with a unicorn horn in the middle of his forehead and inexplicably a forked tongue. His body consisted of a human trunk, bat-wings, bird legs with huge taloned feet, and to top it all off, instead of arms, four lamprey like tentacles on each side. The full result was something from a nightmare and Chondu did what anyone in such a position would do: promptly lost his mind.
Over the next several years, the Headmen sought a way to put Chondu's head on a normal body and so ended up capturing the She-Hulk to use her body. The result was that they cloned her body and put Chondu's head on it. Chondu was insensed that they would choose to put him on female body, but soon with the help of Spider-Man, She-Hulk beat the Headmen and in the insuing battle, Chondu's head was knocked off the body.
Eventually, with the help of MODOK, the Headmen gained access to a mytical artifact that gave them control of an immensely powerful mystic being. For a brief time they gained control of the world, but were eventually defeated by Doctor Strange and the Defenders.